Sherman, R.C., Burdge, G.C., Ali, Z., Singh, K.L., Wootton, S.A. and Jackson, A.A.
Effect of pregnancy on plasma lipid concentration in Trinidadian women. Result of a pilot study.
West Indian Medical Journal, 50, (4), .
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In Trinidad and Tobago, cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes mellitus are important causes of morbidity and mortality, and birth weight is significantly less than reference standards. Lower birth weight is associated with increased risk of these diseases. Variation in birth weight is due, in part, to deposition of adipose tissue in the foetus during the last trimester at the same time that maternal plasma triacylglycerol (TAG) increases. We conducted a pilot cross-sectional analysis of maternal plasma lipid status and birth weight in healthy, non-pregnant, primigravida Trinidadian women. Non-pregnant and pregnant women, in their second and third trimesters, and at term, were recruited at random from an antenatal clinic. Adult and umbilical cord plasma TAG, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and phosphatidylcholine (PC) concentrations were determined from gas chromatographic analysis of fatty acids. Maternal height, weight, skinfold thickness and infant birth weight were measured. The infants born to Afro-Trinidadian and Indo-Trinidadian women were of low to normal birth weight (medians 3.07 and 3.22 kg, respectively). At term, plasma TAG concentration was approximately two fold (p < 0.05) greater than for non-pregnant women. The increment between 30-34 weeks was 1.5 to 1.9 fold lower than reported in other populations. There was a strong relationship (r = 0.8771, p = 0.019) between maternal and cord plasma TAG and NEFA, but not PC concentrations. There was no significant relationship between maternal TAG concentration at term and birth weight. The result suggests an impaired ability to increase plasma TAG concentrations during late gestation.
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